updated 10:30 pm EDT, Wed March 28, 2012
TI, China clues may have 2012 iPhone clues
The slowly building rumors surrounding the 2012 iPhone were joined by another after claims late Wednesday. A source at Texas Instruments told iPhone maintenance outlet RepairLabs that the company had started producing the power management chip for the next iPhone. Senior staffers in the company were referring to Apple's project as the iPhone 5, the source said, although it's more likely this is a placeholder name.
Apple regularly uses TI for power manangement chips in iOS devices. RepairLabs interpreted the production as a sign that a release was a "few months" away, since there had been a similar interval for previous TI production runs.
Side-by-side with the TI leak, the Chinese contact that had supplied new iPad parts had been told that the new iPhone was being targeted for September, or less than a year than before but still later than pre-2011 iPhones. The insider understood that the screen would be larger, although there weren't any details as to whether it would reach the questionable 4.6-inch size or something more modest.
Apple has been under external pressure to increase the screen size on the iPhone to fend off Android rivals as well as acknowledge the greater importance of data over voice. Despite the Chinese informant being "extremely reliable," however, Apple is often believed to want a consistent interface size and may keep the 3.5-inch screen, even as it moves to LTE.